Higashioka’s confidence after hitting the final hit

Higashioka I can become a cycling hit now.

Catcher Kyle Higashioka (34), a teammate of Kim Ha-seong (29, San Diego), expressed pleasant confidence in a postgame interview after hitting the final triple in an away game in Philadelphia on June 20, 2024.
This hit was Higashioka’s first triple in the major leagues.

In an interview with the San Diego Union-Turibune, a local media outlet in San Diego, Higashioka began by saying, “Last Tuesday, I talked with my teammate Luis Areez (27) about the cycling hit he achieved during his time at his former team, Miami.”
“I told Areez I could never hit a cycling hit because I’ve never hit a triple in the majors. But now I can,” he added.

In baseball, a ‘cycling hit’ means hitting all types of hits in one game, including singles, doubles, triples, and home runs.
Higashioka started as a catcher and 8th hitter in an away game against Philadelphia held at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA on June 20, 2024.

Higashioka hits a triple with 3 RBIs

Higashioka was silent on this day with no hits in three at-bats, but faced the opposing team’s reliever Gregory Soto (29) in his fourth at-bat, which came with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the eighth inning with the team leading by one run, 2-1.

Soto is famous as a pitcher with good ball speed in the league, with his fastball velocity exceeding 100 mph (about 161 km).
Higashioka hit a 2-pitch, 87.9 mph (approximately 141 km) slider thrown by Soto with the ball count of 1, and hit a timely 3-run triple that fell behind the Philadelphia center fielder who attempted to dive to catch it.

San Diego, which had recently been mired in five consecutive losses until today’s game, beat Philadelphia 5-2 thanks to Higashioka’s three RBIs and a timely triple, and added one valuable win to get out of its five-game losing streak.
Higashioka, who is in his 8th year in the major leagues this year, is not an offensive catcher, as his big league batting average (0.207) as of the 21st suggests.

Evaluation of Higashioka

He is evaluated as a typical defensive catcher with good pitching lead and good defense.
As of the 21st of this year, he has appeared in a total of 27 games this season, recording a batting average of 0.171, 5 home runs, and 10 RBIs.

It’s not a batting record worth showing off, but Higashioka has a knack for hitting shots at important moments, like the final triple he hit in the game on the 20th.
In the home game against Oakland on the 12th, with the two teams tied 3-3, he led the team to victory by hitting a walk-off solo shot that went well over the left field fence while at bat in the bottom of the 9th inning.

In an interview with the media, Higashioka made everyone around him laugh by speaking honestly about the background that led to the triple hit that day.
He said, “Soto not only throws a fastball in the 100 mph range (approximately 161 km), but he also throws a slider.

“In the major leagues, when a pitcher with that much velocity throws a slider, it’s actually not easy for a hitter to understand the type of pitch,” he said. “Therefore, when facing a pitcher like Soto, many hitters, including myself, prepare by focusing on the fastball. However, when he hit a triple, he thought it was a fastball and tried to swing, but the moment he realized it was a slider, he tried to stop the bat, but it ended up being a hit,” he said, revealing that the triple that day was a hit with good luck.

In fact, the exit speed of the triple hit by Higashioka was only 78.7 miles (about 127 km).
The velocity of the slider thrown by Soto was slower than 87.9 miles (approximately 141 km). This means that the ball was hit incorrectly and did not hit the center of the bat properly.

Higashioka said, “No matter what the situation was, I was very happy that I was able to score an RBI.
“Because it was the most important thing I could do in that situation,” he said, expressing satisfaction with the result.

Thanks to Higashioka’s winning hit that day, San Diego not only broke its five-game losing streak, but also returned to second place in the National League West Division with 38 wins, 40 losses, and a winning percentage of 0.487 this season as of the 21st.

by 토토사이트

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